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|State Police Says No Bias in Traffic Stops
|(IRN)-The Illinois State Police have responded to accusations of bias from the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, but the ACLU is not satisfied.
The ACLU has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate six years' worth of data the ACLU says proves state police officers are three times more likely to do a consent search of African American-driven vehicles, and four times more likely for Latino-driven vehicles.
A consent search occurs when an officer wants to search a vehicle, but must ask permission to do so because there's no probable cause.
In a written statement, the state police department says its troopers are actually less likely to stop a minority driver than other departments in the state. Harvey Grossman, legal director for ACLU Illinois, says that's irrelevant because city and county departments do different things.
"There's just no comparison between the functions they perform," says Grossman. "That data would only be relevant if they were policing the same area, and doing the same thing, which they're just not."
The statement from the state police says the percentage of minority drivers asked for consent to search has steadily decreased since 2005, but Grossman says that's not what the ACLU is looking at. He says data referenced by the ACLU outlines the rate at which minority drivers are searched. That means the frequency at which they're stopped, not the total number of drivers who are stopped.
It's unclear when, or if, the Department of Justice will take up the investigation.
(Source: Illinois Radio Network)
|06 16 11 by Newsroom
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